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Personal Essay about My Dad

Three times a week after school I go visit my dad. When I enter the hospital room where he has lain in a coma since his accident, my eyes often wander to the lone golf ball my mom placed at his bedside. Just six months ago, my father was driving a golf cart across the street that bisects the local golf course when he was hit by a car. He suffered severe brain injury, and the doctors have ruled out any possibility of him waking up again. When I look at him lying in bed, frail but peaceful as if he were asleep, it's hard not to dwell on the "what ifs": what if he hadn't played golf that day? What if he hadn't been behind the fence when the black Camry plowed into it? What if I still had the chance to ask all those questions that choke me up when I see him in the hospital? I can't pretend that I have developed enough distance from the event to draw conclusions about life, but I am already beginning to see myself in very different terms.

Ironically, through this accident my dad has given a chance to face reality head-on. Before the accident, my relationship with him was warm but fraught with tension. He never seemed satisfied with what I did and reprimanded me for every wrong step I took. He had strong opinions about my hairstyle, clothes, friends, and--above everything else--my academic performance. When I was not sitting at my desk in my room, he invariably asked me why I had nothing to do and told me I should not procrastinate. He stressed that if I missed my teenage years of studying, I would regret it later. He didn't like me going out with my friends, so I often ended up staying at home--I was never allowed to sleep over at other students' homes. All I remember from my past high school years is going to school and coming back home. I was confused by my parents' overprotective attitude, because they emphasized independence yet never actually gave me a chance to be independent.

In terms of career, my dad often lectured me about which ones are acceptable and which are not. He worried incessantly about whether I would ever get into college, and he often made me feel as if he would never accept my choices. Rather than standing...

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